from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to regions at or near the foot of the Alps.
  • adj. Of, relating to, inhabiting, or growing in mountainous regions just below the timberline.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. At the foot of the Alps
  • adj. At or just below the tree-line

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Inhabiting the somewhat high slopes and summits of mountains, but considerably below the snow line.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Living or growing on mountains at an elevation next below the height called alpine.
  • Lower Alpine: applied to that part or zone of the Alps which lies between the so-called “highland” zone and the “Alpine” zone proper.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. growing at high altitudes


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Larix lyallii, or alpine larch (sometimes called subalpine larch).

    Museum Blogs

  • It is dominated by tree species that thrive in cool, humid climates with heavy snow cover, such as subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce.

    Ecoregions of Utah (EPA)

  • Spruce bark beetles were after the spruce trees and fir engraver beetles were killing subalpine fir trees.

    Bird Cloud

  • Winter snowfall accumulates as a snowpack and the high elevation Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir and limber pine forests provide an essential cover so that the snow melts slowly in the springtime and feeds the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River which drains one tenth of the land base in the lower 48 states.

    Dr. Reese Halter: Global Warming, Drought and the Grim Reaper

  • Above the tree line at about 2,600 m, the vegetation is subalpine.

    Kahuzi-Biéga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Maybe it's because we're at 9,600 feet in the Colorado Rockies that we can think with cool heads about the heat that has been boiling East Coast bodies and minds recently -- and the fact that we study the effects of global warming on subalpine ecosystems up here, summer, after summer, after summer.

    Mary Ellen Harte and John Harte: Addressing Climate Change: Connect It to the Daily News, and Heat

  • He remembers paddling out to the middle of the lake, on one side Many's giant cabin, a thousand times his and Jules 'cabin, and on the other side a sheer wonderland of western larch and subalpine fir, snowy peaks slicing the blue sky like ice.


  • Those mature subalpine forests help retain snowfall in the winter and slowly release melt-waters in the springtime that recharge reservoirs.

    Dr. Reese Halter: At Christmas and Beyond: Trees Keep on Giving

  • Populations of Rocky Mountain locust spread across Alberta, Montana and Wyoming of say 10 million; each required about 2,400 acres of either river bottoms, sunny uplands or subalpine grassy areas providing a permanent breeding ground, thus enabling swarms to eventually attain trillions of insects.

    Dr. Reese Halter: Australian Locust Thrive, Rocky Mountain Ones Disappear

  • Between about 8,000 and 11,000 feet elevation, subalpine forests, Douglas-fir forests, and aspen parkland are widespread with ponderosa pine and limber pine also occurring on the high volcanic plateaus.

    Ecoregions of Utah (EPA)


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